How To Grow Fruit Tree Plants From Seeds

You must agree fruit is delicious 😋 and is healthy. But to live healthily, you need to invest in buying fruit from the grocers, which ultimately costs a fortune.

So, what can you do? Well, you can always grow your own trees from seeds. Then, with fruit trees in your garden, you will have fresh fruit to enjoy most of the year.

But before you grab that apple to start taking out the pips, there are a few things you need to know. The best part is that we are here to help you grow trees that bear sweet fruit in your garden.

Growing Fruit Trees From Seed

lemon seeds

Okay, so how do you grow fruit trees from seeds? Well, many novice gardeners think that taking seeds from the fruit and planting it will grow into trees. Sadly this is not true, as a tree bearing fruit does not grow from the seeds in that fruit.

Okay, we are not saying it will not be growing fruit trees, but it will yield a hybrid of two plants. So your new plant will be similar, but the opposing fruit portions might not look or taste identical to the parent plant.

The reason is that it is heterozygous, meaning the seed develops one plant’s male organ, the pollen, and a female organ, the flower of that cultivar, to produce fruit. Hence, when it comes to propagating, it is best done with budding or grafting.

Still, you can buy rootstocks from nurseries to graft the bud or shoot from a female plant onto a tree to bear the same fruit as you enjoy. But if you do not want to buy rootstock, you can produce one from the seeds of a similar fruit.

Furthermore, no matter what fruit tree seed you choose, they all need stratifying or a chilling period before germination to form new plants. During this dormancy or after-ripening period, the embryo matures.

Fruit Trees Will Grow From Seeds

When growing fruit trees, you will have a healthier option as you can do everything organically without pesticides. But what trees can you grow to enjoy fruit at home? We have gathered eight trees you can grow in a container or landscape.


peach tree

The peach tree is an excellent choice for growing plants in containers to transplant to the garden at a later stage. The reason for not sowing directly in beds is that it might be too cold in your region. Furthermore, it helps to grow it in a confined space to keep an eye on the growth.

Cherry Tree

cherry fruit tree

You get two types of cherry 🍒 trees, acid to sweet ones. You can enjoy the sweet one fresh, growing well on small trees. At the same time, the acid one is suitable for cooking and grows best in the shade.

But the pits will need to go through a stratification period but more on that later.

Plum Tree

plum fruit tree

Growing a plum tree looks gorgeous in the backyard and delicious. You need to grow them in early spring or mid-summer to prevent infections.

Apple Tree

apple tree

As described previously choosing an apple 🍏 tree, you may not end up with the same fruit. Furthermore, container-growing fruit trees help to make sure about their height. Still, you do have the option of choosing a dwarf variety.



Pears are related to apples and grow with the same needs but much easier as it does not become bombarded with diseases and pests. Still, the seeds will need to go through a stratification process.



Avocados are another excellent choice, and the pip will need preparation before you can plant them. You will need to place the pip with toothpicks over a glass of water and kept in a warm place for up to three weeks for roots to appear.


lemon tree

It is a beautiful container plant that grows well from seeds, and you need to wash the seeds well to remove the gel coating.


Tangerine fruit tree

Yes, even the mandarin grows from seed, but it can take a few years to mature and produce fruit.

When To Plant Fruit Seeds From Trees

Growing a rootstock for implanting involves some minor jobs at different times of the year, as with gardening. Here are some seasonal recommendations:

  • In late summer, you can gather your nectarine and peach seeds to store in the moist sand.

  • In autumn, you can start gathering your pears and apple seeds to keep in the sand by keeping the soil moist.

  • For winter, gather scion wood of the varieties you want to graft in spring and keep them stored correctly. You can also collect plum cuttings to store in damp sand.

  • While in spring, you can plant those seeds and cut them in a container or the ground.

Another note when growing fruit trees is that peach, apricot, and nectarine seedlings might only bud in the first growing season in late July or early August. You can then transplant them the following spring.

Apples, pears, plums, and cherries must develop for two years before they will bud in July or early August.

Gathering Seeds to Produce Fruit

You must follow some steps when you want to plant your outdoor trees to sprout blossoms and form fruits. First, you need to gather the pits, and ripening of it can be done in two methods:

First Method: Stratification in Refrigerator

Pomegranate seeds

Extract the seed or pips you would like to germinate.

  1. Star by removing all the fruit portions and leaving the seeds to air dry.

  2. Place the dried seeds in a receptacle or a glass jar with a loosely fitted lid.

  3. Then place the seeds in a cool place until mid-January, as it needs after-ripening. The length can vary from one fruit species to another.

  4. If you use your fridge to store seeds, keep them in a sealed receptacle and do not expose them to fruit that gives off ethylene gas, like apples, pears, peaches, nectarine, bananas, blueberries, etc.

  5. If the seeds have not gone through a cold treatment, it helps to mix the seeds with something like damp peat moss, shredded paper towels, or sand in mid-January.

  6. Then return that mixture to a receptacle, replace the lid, and keep it in the fridge until the last frost date.

Your seeds will remain in the fridge for up to 60 days, and after the last frost date or early summer, you can prepare some potting medium to plant them.

Second Method: Directly Into The Ground

seeds ground planting

Prepare some potting mix in a plot as you would with your other seed varieties in the fall. Then make a furrow not deeper than one or two times the length of the seed. Next, cover the seed with light soil and add another two inches of sand over them as it prevents crusting that can inhibit germination.

Place a wire screen or a hardware cloth over your row, push it several inches into the potting mix, and ensure the ends are closed. When early April arrives, look if you see your seedling grows. As your seedling grows, remove the wire screen.

Third Method

Gather your apple seeds from cold storage, rinse them with 10% Clorox solution, and dust them with a fungicide. Then line your seeds in trays in moist peat moss or vermiculite.

Once they germinate, you can transplant them an inch deep in parallel seed lines about two inches apart. After a few months in the fridge, they should sprout. Now, you place them in a four-inch pot and leave them until they mature with leaves.

With all methods, when your seedlings reach eight inches tall, you can place one to two tablespoons of urea along each of the 12-inch rows and keep it two inches away from your plants.

We recommend using warm water at room temperature to saturate your plants. Another note is that stone fruit pips have a hard covering, and to help them germinate, you can crack them with a nutcracker before you plant them.

But do not crack too hard, as it can destroy the embryo.

How to Grow Fruits Tree Plants From Seeds

There are a few ways to grow fruit trees, and they can be done as follow:

Using Seed Trays or Plug Trays

seed sprouts in tray

Using seed trays is a great way to sow fruit seeds, as you can transplant them later.

  1. Place a loose potting mix friable as the moisture needs to flow through the drainage holes. Your seedlings will retain enough moisture to expand. You can use a germination mix or make one using equal parts topsoil, perlite, peat, and Fertilis.

  2. Fill the trays with the potting mix and level them off. Dampen the potting mix.

  3. Then evenly sprinkle the seed over the soil and cover it lightly or as bought seed recommendations.

  4. Soak with a fine water spray and cover the trays with plastic protection or newspaper.

  5. Place the tray in bright indirect light and water as needed.

  6. Once you see the seeds germinate, you can remove the covers and start exposing them to more sunlight.

In Seed Beds

 seeds sprouting in the ground

In the landscape, dig over the ground to remove debris, stones, and clots. Then dig in some compost with something like Fertilis. Dampen the potting medium and sow the seeds in rows to cover them with the potting mix.

Water well with a fine spray and cover it with mulch or straw to help retain moisture. As seedlings sprout, you can thin them out, allowing for more space.

Grafting Fruit Trees

grafting cherry tree

While you can plant fruit trees from seed, you can also graft them according to these steps:

  1. In winter, collect a scion wood that is the top part of the tree and collect in the dormant season as it stops growing.

  2. Ensure that your scion is disease and pest free and should be a cutting of 16 inches in length.

  3. Now label that scion with the fruit tree’s name with the date of your cutting.

  4. Next, wrap the scion in a damp paper towel and tuck it in a plastic bag to place in the refrigerator until the next growing season starts. Also, remove any fruit present in the fridge.

  5. Now, you can preorder your rootstock to arrive in time for sowing.

  6. When the last frost date passes, you can start to graft your fruit trees. The perfect time is to check other fruit trees to see if they have buds or if the trees’ sap is flowing.

Next, you must decide which technique to use to start the process. There are three methods you can use:

  • Bark grafting will give your old trees some new life. You start by peeling off the bark, exposing the cambium, and inserting your scion.

  • For growing fruit, you can use a method known as the whip and tongue that fits in like a puzzle. It works with a long slanting cut providing a max surface between your rootstock and scion. Using a sharp knife, some elastic bands, and wax takes practice.

  • Lastly, you can use bud grafting when growing fruit trees if you miss the early season. First, you must gather a single bud from your preferred scion in summer. Then choose a rootstock you know is compatible and insert that bud using a chip cut.

Transplanting Your Fruit Seedlings Outdoors

transplanting fruit tree outdoors @flickr

If you started your fruit trees in pots, then transplanting your fruit trees depends on the species you have. Also, consider the soil temperature as it is also essential.

Once the weather warms up and the last frost passes, you can loosen and amend your soil, removing rocks and other debris.

If the soil temperature is warmer, you can spread black plastic across the site to help a few weeks before planting. Also, do not walk on that soil and start to harden off your fruit seedlings.

You can do this by watering them well for at least ten days before transplanting them. Then set them outdoors in dappled shade and protect them from the wind doing this a few hours a day. Daily you can increase the sun exposure until they get used to the full sun and wind.

Also, keep the soil damp when you want to plant fruit trees.

Steps To Transplant Your Fruit Trees to The Ground

  1. When transplanting, do it on a warm but overcast day in the morning.

  2. Check the moisture in the soil to amend it as needed. You can water the plant deeply the day before transplanting.

  3. Take a rake to smooth the soil surface, and dig your planting hole a bit bigger than the rootball.

  4. Remove your fruit trees from the pots and place your seedling in the hole at the same depth as it was growing in the pot.

  5. Backfill with soil while tamping it down gently to remove air pockets.

  6. Water well allowing the soil to settle and backfill as needed while watering again around the planting area.

  7. After a few days, you can give your fruit trees a starter fertilizer with high phosphorus.

  8. If you live in an arid climate, you can add some mulch around it to retain moisture.

Keep checking for moisture in the soil and wet as needed, watering around the base and not from above. Keep watering until your fruit trees are established.

Final Thought

As you can see, growing fruit trees is worthwhile to save you money in the long run. Still, growing fruit trees takes time and loads of patience. Fruit trees vary in budding and providing you with those delicious fruits.

Still, with some TLC and patience, you can avoid buying fruits from the grocers and enjoy a fresh one right out of your garden. Make sure to read our next article on how to start seeds indoors.

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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